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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Submission Guidelines

Journal of Transnational American Studies

Exploring the transnational turn called for by Shelley Fisher Fishkin that has pushed the boundaries of postexceptional American Studies, JTAS welcomes original articles that critically engage the shifting conceptual terrain of "America." Questions of the borderlands/la frontera, archipelagic relations, imperial geographies, remapping Indigenous Studies, historiographies of revolutionary solidarity work across continents, and performative practices of transculturation and intercultures are only a few of the possibilities. In the journal's pages, you will encounter work from every discipline as well as interdisciplinary scholarship.

Submissions of individual essays are accepted throughout the year.

Manuscripts for individual essays:

  • must be original and not previously published online or in print;
  • should range between 5,000–8,000 words, including endnotes and bibliography;
  • follow the Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition, notes-and-bibliography style; and
  • include an abstract (not to exceed 250 words) and keywords.

You can download the Chicago Quick Citation Guide here and a copy of the JTAS style guide here. 

To submit a manuscript for consideration, create an author account by clicking the orange "Submit" button and indicate "Article" when prompted for "Type of Submission."

Turnaround Times

We aim to inform authors about the screening process within two months and of a final decision on publication within six to eight months of submission.

Submission Process

Manuscripts of individual essays will be considered for publication on the basis of their contributions to important and current discussions in transnational American Studies, and their scholarly competence and originality. Manuscripts submitted to the Articles section or the Special Forum section undergo a rigorous peer review by a minimum of two external reviewers.

There are three major steps to the peer-review process:

  1. Upon receipt, each manuscript will be read to determine its suitability for publication prior to in-depth review.
  2. All manuscripts initially approved will be reviewed in a triple-blind process, starting with double-blind external review by at least two scholars with expertise in the relevant field(s).
  3. The Editorial Board will review the anonymous manuscript together with the reader reports and will make the final decision as to (1) whether or not a manuscript is ready for publication, and (2) if yes, which issue is the best fit for the manuscript. The Board may decide to accept a submission; request a revision*; or decline a submission. In cases where the Board provides substantial suggestions for revision, it might request the author to resubmit; and the resubmitted article will also undergo external peer review by two readers.
  4. * Articles to be resubmitted should be revised in a timely manner.

No Author or Reader Charges

JTAS is non-fee, non-commercial, free to authors and to readers. We have no submission charges or article processing charges (APC), and all published articles are immediately and freely available to readers.

Rights for Authors

Authors retain copyright for all content published in the Journal of Transnational American Studies (JTAS). However, authors grant to the journal the right to publish the article under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) license and to make available such content, in any format, in perpetuity. Authors may reproduce, in other contexts, content to which they possess the copyright, although in any subsequent publications JTAS should be acknowledged as the original publisher.

How do you propose a JTAS Special Forum?

Please direct all Special Forum (SF) inquiries directly to the JTAS SF Editor.

The SF Editor will make an initial decision about whether your proposed SF is in sync with the mission, aims, and scope of the journal. The SF Editor will then guide Guest SF Editor(s) in preparing a proposal for review by the JTAS Editorial Board.

What should a proposal look like?

A proposal for an SF should contain the following:

1) an explanation of the significance, need, or special focus of the proposed subject matter;

2) a one-page call for papers meant for public distribution (the CFP contains a very brief explanation of the subject matter, due dates or timeline, and a contact e-mail);

3) an abridged curriculum vitae (CV) for each Guest SF Editor.

In addition to academic articles, JTAS also invites non-traditional contributions such as interviews, short-format essays, portfolios, or editorials.

What is the language policy?

Authors may offer texts in other languages provided there is an English version as well, and with the proviso that such pieces will be reviewed based on the English version only.

When can I submit a proposal?

The SF Editor and the JTAS Editorial Board will consider SF proposals on a rolling basis. Proposals are welcome at any time.

What is the process for assembling an SF and conducting peer review?

After a proposal is accepted, Guest SF Editors are responsible for circulating and managing the CFP and for making the initial selection of papers in a timely fashion.

The Special Forum will undergo a double-blind peer-review process, which is handled by the Guest SF Editors. Guest SF Editors can decide if they prefer to request peer-review for each article individually or for the complete SF as a collection. In addition, all contributions are subject to a final review by the SF Editor and the JTAS Editorial Board. Publication is not guaranteed until the board has approved the final versions of the SF essays.

Guest SF Editors are responsible for copyediting and formatting the essays based on the journal’s guidelines (Chicago notes and bibliography style; 6,000-8,000 words, including notes and works cited).

The Chicago Quick Citation Guide can be downloaded here and a copy of the JTAS-style guide here.

What happens after the SF has been peer-reviewed?

The board will review the peer-reviewed, revised essays upon submission by the SF Editor who will communicate the board’s recommendations for revision, if any. Authors will then make final revisions based on board comments.

Once the Guest SF Editors have finalized the SF, including copyediting, the SF Editor decides whether the SF is ready for publication and when JTAS will publish the SF.

After final approval by the SF Editor and board, Guest SF Editors submit the copyedited SF for formatting and finalization of the galleys for publication. This is the last stage before publication and the final opportunity for authors to make changes. Only minor edits at the level of the sentence, not structural changes, can be made at this point.